Not to Nationalise, but to Rationalise? Cooperatives, Leadership, and the State in the Irish Dairy Industry 1890-1932

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Abstract

The Irish cooperative movement in the dairy industry was driven from above, first by the philanthropic Irish Agricultural Organisation Society and then by the Irish Free State. Although the early cooperative movement has been linked with constructive unionism, this article highlights important continuities in the approach taken to cooperative creameries by the Irish Free State government in the 1920s. Using the problem of creamery management as a focus, it argues that the movement was unable to deliver on its stated goal of democratic empowerment of farmers. Instead, it was the means through which power was renegotiated between farmers, landlords and the state in the context of two crucial transitional moments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-101
JournalIrish Economic and Social History
Volume44
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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